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Money, Money, Money (Mamma Mia)

Donna isn’t happy with her life. She thinks she is working too hard for too little money. (Who isn’t!) And she thinks her life will be better if she could find a wealthy man. There are some interesting economic ideas in this song. One is the idea of the marriage market – as someone who […]

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Lovely Ladies (Les Miserables)

This Les Miserables song is a good one to play to lead into a lesson on prostitution or prohibitions. Prostitution is prohibited in many markets, yet it still occurs. This song can also be played to start a lesson on labor economics and compensating wage differentials. Because prostitution is such an undesirable profession, higher wages […]

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If I Had This Truck (Hands on a Hardbody)

Rent seeking is the process where people or firms expend valuable resources (time, energy, or other resources) while attempting to win a competition. This is often referred to as a market failure, but many times it is actually a government failure. Some common real-world examples you see for this is when the government offers grants […]

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Privilege to Pee (Urinetown the Musical)

Thanks to J. Brian O’Roark for creating this video and the description below. The musical Urinetown presents a greedy businessman who deals with a water shortage by instituting a toilet tax. If you don’t pay, you are banished, hence the “Privilege to Pee”. In this song we see the basics of demand and supply played […]

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Stars (Les Miserables)

Javert wants to find Jean Valjean. Badly. Javert provides a great example of inelastic demand, as he swears upon the stars that he will never yield, under any circumstances, in his quest to find Valjean. In fact, economists would say he has perfectly inelastic demand – as the price won’t influence Javert in his quest. […]

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Henry Ford (Ragtime)

Henry Ford was one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time. His success was due in large part to the use of assembly line production, which significantly decreased the costs of production. In the song, he sings “even people who ain’t too clever, can learn to tighten a nut forever”. Now the costs of production […]

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Impossible (Cinderella)

Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother sing in this song. Initially, the song focuses on what is impossible. Relating this to economics, Cinderella desires a point that is beyond the boundaries of her production possibilities frontier (PPF). The way to obtain a bundle that is initially impossible to obtain is by obtaining or creating a new […]

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